Men are from Mamet. Women are from Streep.

A director/writer friend of mine is shooting a movie this summer with an actor named John Hawkes and myself as the two leads. So last night a film John is in was playing at the LA Independent Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America, and we decided to check it out. In the when-it-rains-it-pours category, the other film playing last night in the adjacent theatre – also featured John. Plus, he was on X-Files last night. Meanwhile, somewhere in Guam, four people were watching the episode of Days Of Our Lives I did 3 years ago…

Anyhoo, the film is called A Slipping Down Life. It stars Lily Taylor and Guy Pierce (LA Confidential, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and the currently bombing, Ravenous) and is based on a novel by Anne Tyler. I used to be a very easy to please movie watcher. Give me a few laughs, some good action, a few likable actors, breasts, whatever, and I was happy. So, it’s either my tastes, me getting older, or, films have gotten worse. Since it pisses me off to no end when people talk about the demise of anything (I firmly believe that life is cyclical and what demiseth, will soon again riseth) I have to attribute it to something in my character.

The movie was pretty not good.

Lily Taylor was sweet and affecting as always. (Her and Parker Posey – they’re a couple of ladies who simply have oodles of charisma, I tell you.) Guy Pierce though, Guy Pierce sucked. He really sucked. He was wooden and boring and horribly miscast as a Jim Morrison-like moody rocker.

(What’s up anyway with this new Australian Renaissance. I didn’t know we were recovered fully from the last one, lead by Paul Hogan, et al. Now we have the Outback Steakhouse, the wacky Australian movies like Priscilla…, Muriel’s Wedding, Strictly Ballroom, and the actors, my god! Mr. Pierce, his LA Confidant Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette. I sometimes feel like Americans need a cuddly and endearingly backward culture to embrace at all times, and since we can’t cuddle up to any non-white culture, we just keep slingshotting back and forth between the Irish and the Australians.)

But this Guy Pierce, sucking the life out of every scene he’s in, I do have to give him this: the boy can sing! Jeez. But in general the story is dull, the relationship doesn’t work, and it’s poorly paced throughout. So the movie ends and neither me or the girlfriend want to stay for the Q&A with the director, a seemingly very good-intentioned female first-time director named Toni Kalem. We say goodbye to Frank, his visiting Mom, his girlfriend Steph, and John himself (John was very funny in the flick, by the way), and we leave.

Now, I haven’t seen the lady in a few days as she was out of town, and I’m really looking forward to having a drink, a chat, and a kiss or two. I miss the woman.

It didn’t work out that way. Here’s a compact version of the hour following the film:

HER: Did you like it?

ME: No.

HER: Of course, you hate all women’s films.

ME: (pause) Um… What?!

HER: Anything soulful, about women, about emotions and subtlety and personal growth, you mock.

ME: I love soul. I love women.

HER: Then why do you make fun of Shania Twain?

ME: A… What???!!! B… You don’t like Shania Twain.

HER: That’s not the point. You like Mamet. You like intellectualism and coldness and Rebecca Pidgeon.

ME: I have huge problems with Mamet, and I hate Rebecca Pidgeon.

HER: You hate subtlety.

ME: (pensively) Hmmmmmmm…

HER: What?

ME: I was just subtly thinking.

HER: Why haven’t you rented Sophie’s Choice yet? I asked you to.

ME: Why haven’t you rented Apocalypse Now yet?

HER: OK, well make up with me then.

ME: For what?

HER: You don’t understand anything, do you!

(She exits the car. I go home, drink a cranberry and vodka and watch the Juice Master infomercial, vaguely jealous of Jack Lalane. I wake up 6 hours later with a cat on my face and a twitching eye.)

I understand her championing a story about women, by women, starring women, but I’m still allowed to dislike the friggin' thing.

Then again, maybe I’m not.

Is it just me or is this new Pearl Jam song about the car crash deviously catchy? There’s something satisfying in the notion that the nation has embraced a song that could have, and might have been for all I know, written in 1957. Go Eddie… pretentious fuck that you are.

A few weeks ago my friend Shannon and I were at a club on Sunset watching a friend’s band, and between sets we started talking about all the popular songs/bands we can’t stand. Between us (My cynic quotient = 7 out of 10. Shannon’s cynic quotient = 8 out of 10.) we found a lot to hate. But when we had finally finished with Matchbox 20 and had moved onto Third Eye Blind, I confirmed a private suspicion that had been bugging me  for months.

The leader singer of Third Eye Blind cannot pronounce his R’s!!!

Every time I caught one of their songs I heard it. But the plot thickened when I saw him interviewed, and his R’s sounded fine. Hmmmmmmm.... So while it’s not definite, at least I know there is something to the great Third Eye Blind Theory of R's.

("Back and to the left. Back and to the left.")

Wish you would step back fwom that ledge, my fwiend
You could cut ties from all the lies that you’ve been living in
And if you do not want to see me again
I would undewstand
I would undewstand

Is it a bad sign that my spell-check doesn’t recognize the word Sinbad, and suggests Sinead instead?

Those damn Irish…